The Unseen Drivers Of Our Decisions

The other day, I wrote a bit about my health journey, coming to the conclusion that the the good hours are not guaranteed. That idea sent my mind off on a tangent. My final destination? The $320 hairbrush I bought to commemorate beginning to feel better and starting a new job.

For years, my arms felt like they weighed hundreds of pounds. I was too fatigued to lift a fork or wash my hair. When I became too unkempt to look at myself in the mirror, the cheap plastic bristles on my old brush scratched my scalp and ripped out my fine hair.

A little over a year ago, our home had just been remediated and was starting to feel better. Though I quickly relapsed (there was still mold), in the moment I clicked to confirm the purchase, I was filled with hope.

I am not the type to spend money on myself. I don’t care about brand names, luxury goods, or beauty products. It was very out-of-character for me to desire a beauty product, let alone one that cost as much as our monthly groceries.

I didn’t understand why I needed that brush until now.

The other day, while getting ready for bed, my boyfriend asked what was taking so long. I had flossed, brushed my teeth, washed my face, applied a facial oil, moisturized the rest of my body, and brushed my hair.

For years, I did not have the energy or strength to do any of those things on a regular basis. Buying the hairbrush felt significant. It was the milestone leading me into a new stage of life–a stage of life where I am well enough to practice self-care again.

Since feeling better, I now start each day by brushing my teeth, washing my face, applying sunscreen, and brushing my hair. Every evening, I follow a similar bedtime routine. These actions are no longer chores, but instead gifts long-withheld. Gifts to myself, for myself.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, the overpriced hairbrush was my silent intention to reintroduce rituals of self-love. It’s a promise to myself that, without even realizing I had made, I’ve kept.

10 thoughts on “The Unseen Drivers Of Our Decisions

  1. Love this, Erin. Self-care rituals are restorative but you’re right — it’s another aspirational hurdle when you are feeling utterly depleted. Your post made me smile, related to your morning and evening routines. Several years ago, I overheard our daughter talking to a friend about the importance of skincare and being consistent and I heard her say, “My mom is amazing…no matter how tired she is, every night she does her ‘stuff’ and I know her skin looks better as a result, but I also know she does it to close out the day and relax.” Yep. She got me! And now I chuckle as I see her as an adult, with her own morning and evening rituals as self-care non-negotiables. Use that hairbrush, Erin – and enjoy every minute of it. 💕💕💕

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    1. Your daughter sound so sweet and observant! Just like her mamma. 💕 In my early-20s, I had read all those articles about the importance of a morning routine, but I was just going through the motions and doing what I was “supposed” to do. Nowadays, it does feel like a non-negotiable greeting and sendoff of each day. And, as with a friend, the self-care rituals are so lifting. Thanks, Vicki! 💕💕💕

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  2. I’m loving the expensive hairbrush that helped you realize how important little rituals are– and that you needed them to heal. For me it’s the details in life that end up making me feel whole.

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  3. I love that you not only bought something to celebrate a new job but that you share its symbolism. I love the things that we can hold in our hands to represent our journey when we need a touchstone or even just give us a smile when we aren’t expecting it. Thank you for sharing this beautiful reflection!

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    1. Thanks, Wynne! It’s so funny in retrospect because it took me 16 months or so to recognize it’s symbolism, but you’re spot-on that it’s become a touchstone for me…. a tangible symbol of my recovery. Ahh, I love this perspective, Wynne! Thank you! 💕

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  4. “the overpriced hairbrush was my silent intention to reintroduce rituals of self-love. It’s a promise to myself that, without even realizing I had made, I’ve kept.” Sometimes we need something extravagant to get us on the track we need to be on! Good for you for practicing good self-care! I have my morning and evening routines too, and it feels “off” if I don’t do them.

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